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Thunderblade: The Home Conversions.


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#1 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 08:14 AM

On a bit of a SEGA Roll, as i'm sure you can tell, of late...

 

Wanted to include Thunderblade, as it's something i've played a lot of, over the years on C64, then ST, then Mega Drive, despite finding it a rather weak game, to be honest.

 

It was recently given a big feature in RetroGamer Magazine and i wasn't that impressed by the coverage, as yet again, it wasn't a true reflection of the home conversions, IMO..certain aspects missed out (The tie-in with Pepsi, which was bizzare not to see mentioned, as it was heavily advertised at the time-witness the big magazine adverts from UK press)...certain conversions given more praise than they really deserved (Chris Butler's C64 version was solid enough, but not as great as RG writer suggested)...etc.

 

I also felt the comment regarding how the ST version could of been better was a little off the mark..the St didn't have the hardware the Amiga had to assist in sprite-based games like this and the magazine then went onto claim the amiga version was little improved over the ST version..erm what? 

 

 

So, this is my attempt to 'fill in the gaps' and let people give their views on the Home Micro and Console conversions and game itself...

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#2 Rowsdower70

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

Now I was definitely a fan of this in the arcade.   Was there a release on Genesis?


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#3 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:05 AM

Bit more UK Coverage, inc US Gold giving away a Coin-Op as a prize, in order to promote the home versions.

 

Again, something totally missed by RG magazine...

 

 

Yep there was a Genesis release, 1 of the earlier titles.

 

It's on the PS3 Ultimate MD Collection as well.

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#4 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:06 AM

http://www.google.co...UP4I9AJKIkoSYzg

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Edited by Lost Dragon, 15 April 2017 - 10:31 AM.

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#5 Rowsdower70

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:51 AM

I dont think I owned it, but I know it was a rental at some point. 


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#6 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 12:03 PM

I find it's aged..very badly :)


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#7 Rowsdower70

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 12:06 PM

I ended up really enjoying the Jungle Strike/Desert Strike/Urban Strike series more, to be honest.


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"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square


#8 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:33 PM

Strike series peaked on 16 bit with Jungle Strike i felt, Urban felt unfinished.

On 32 bit, Soviet was good (started out on 3DO so I believe?), but Nuclear was superb.

Future Strike ended up as Future Cop L.A.P.D

Did you ever try Red Zone on Genesis?

Technically amazing, but bloody hard.
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#9 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:40 PM



This simply ruled my world as a PC gamer B-)
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#10 Rowsdower70

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

Strike series peaked on 16 bit with Jungle Strike i felt, Urban felt unfinished.

On 32 bit, Soviet was good (started out on 3DO so I believe?), but Nuclear was superb.

Future Strike ended up as Future Cop L.A.P.D

Did you ever try Red Zone on Genesis?

Technically amazing, but bloody hard.

I don't remember Red Zone, but man did I rent a bunch of Genesis games in the day. 


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#11 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 06:30 PM

Red Zone was getting MCD performance (FMV, Sprite scaling etc) out of a stock MD:

 

 

http://www.google.co...FsipJiICouNHRfw



#12 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 06:33 PM

There was also a BLATANT Thunderblade clone doing the rounds on ST/Amiga/8 bit Micro's:

 

 

Hellfire Attack:

 

 

http://www.google.co...1oUQygF_ydFKdXQ

 

 

I should rename this THE CHOPPER GAME Thread :)



#13 Greyfox

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:49 AM

Again fantastic flashbacks here. I remember being a big fan of Thunderblade thanks to it's blatant idea concept being stolen from the film "Blue Thunder" sure the helicopter is a pixel version of Copter from the film. But have fond memories of the arcade original and remember very well the announcement of the 16-bit computer ports and thinking even back then how are they gonna to convert this? Considering the abomination the "Outrun" conversion was? ...

But when it did arrive I was actually impressed with it, frame rates were a tad better, but one thing that stood off this conversion was the bordering of the logo and helicopter pilot there in order to greatly reduce the games screen space in order to have decent FPS. Which was testament U.S.Gold didn't truly have the coding acumen to do this justice just like Activision didn't with another Sega hit "After Burner" which was good, but complete rubbish at the same time. But the laughable thing about all of this is that and never understood this...Demo Scene groups at that time were running routines on the ST and Amiga which could have easily had Thunderblade running at full speed and full screen (Amiga)...back to Activision to which is a perfect example of lack of coding skills on arcade conversions.

Image below is Activision's effort of Afterburner (Amiga) Argonaut Software
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An American only Amiga released version of AfterBurner from Weebee Games showed how Afterburner could be done, proof Activision hadn't a clue or their team didn't.
after-burner-ii_7.gif

So it was possible to get near arcade perfect conversion with the right team to which falls back on how "get any ole shite in a box on the shelf" U.S.Gold's philosophy was and I'm sure the Pepsi challenge was a simple PR ploy as I don't think I ever seen Thunderblade covered at any of these event coverages in the magazine, I could be wrong of course, but I think the Pepsi challenge was a marketing ploy, wasn't that originally about telling the different of the drink like this? Lol

https://www.youtube....h?v=v7lw_vhxtNc
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#14 Lost Dragon

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:17 AM

That's kinda what i hope these threads will do...invoke flashbacks to some and be new content to others :)

 

You bring up a very good point regarding who the publishers looked to, in order to convert the coin-ops to the home micro's.

 

Tiertex used for Thunderblade, a developer often mocked, but they had converted likes of Alien Storm, Mercs, Strider, UN Squadron etc to the ST and yes, collision detection on ST Thunderblade could of been better, you were still presented with the control system flaws on a home system...your talking a single fire button controller and your looking at bringing a coin-op into 512K Ram system..some things had to be dropped (even Capcom's stunning Strider conversion on MD lacks the speech).

 

With NO Blitter as well, ST always going to struggle.

 

 

Probe's Out Run was dire, but for myself, they made up for those sins by the stunning conversion of Turbo Out run on the C64, which was everything the 1st game should of been.

 

Chase HQ was another disaster on C64, but one the sequel, wisely opting to use the cartridge format, vastly improved on.

 

 

With Afterburner...ZX Spectrum version superb, C64 version utterly awful :(

 

But ST/Amiga versions went to Jez San and the Argonaut team, who given the greatness they produced with Starglider, you would of expected something that at least captured the sense of speed from the coin-op, but this was missing, graphics ended up confusing the player....

 

 

I can honestly say at times i really do struggle to see why Jez San/Argonaut held in such high regard..they've had some stunning games, but then you look at likes of Hawk..AKA Birds Of Prey..hyped to hell, very average when it arrived, Days Of Thunder, Creature Shock, Croc etc.

 

 

And how on earth he was allowed to go unchallenged by RG writers by claiming the Genesis was a mere 2D box, when it had so many polygon 3D conversions from ST/Amiga, let alone games of it's own, plus going onto say Mega CD was Sega's answer to thier SFX chip, no, that was the SVP Chip a la...Virtua Racing....

 

 

 

Elite proved how Afterburner could of been on C64 with First Strike.


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#15 Lost Dragon

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

As for the Pepsi aspect...didn't the Landing Pads in the Home versions have the Pepsi Logo on them?

 

I'm sure there was some in-game promotional aspects, but the RG article ignored ALL of this.


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#16 Lost Dragon

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:15 PM

More UK Coverage of C64/Amiga versions and the most blatant clone of....

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Edited by Lost Dragon, 20 April 2017 - 05:40 PM.

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#17 Greyfox

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:38 PM

I always though Hellfire Attack was more closer to a complete After Burner only with a helicopter rip off than Thunder blade clone, I actually liked this game for the cheek and the ordasity in ripping off a sega classic, but at the same time agree with the rating ...it was shocking in hindsight lol.
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#18 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:01 AM

To me, it was if the developers/publishers of Hellfire attack were trying to be clever, they knew US Gold would be competing with Activision for the Xmas No.1 slot and having paid a lot of cash to secure Afterburner and Thunderblade and then more cash to advertise the hell out of them, so they'd simply combine the 2, gameplay from Afterburner, but at pace of Thunderblade, your in a chopper so your going to be travelling slower...

so that would hide the fact the 3D engine was so, so awful.

 

 I seem to recal Activisions Rod Cousins saying he didn't think Thunderblade could compete with Afterburner and the only real competition they faced for the No.1 slot that Xmas was Operation Wolf (Ocean) and Sega had phoned both Activision and US Gold up and said please don't compete agains't each other, we want both titles to do well. Might be another UK Mag made up claim though....

 

 

Hellfire is going in here as this is now THE Chopper thread :)


Edited by Lost Dragon, 21 April 2017 - 05:04 AM.

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#19 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:08 AM

Another look at ST Vs Amiga versions.

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#20 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:36 PM

And these wrap up Thunderblade Coverage...

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